Core Curriculum: MPPA and Accelerated MPP programs

The Master of Public Policy and Administration (MPPA) and the accelerated Master of Public Policy (MPP) both require that students take CPPA core courses and CPPA program electives. Below are descriptions for both categories of courses.

CPPA core courses are designed to provide students with a strong analytical foundation, applicable to a wide variety of policy issues. The MPPA degree requires the following seven core courses :

  • Politics of the Policy Process examines the influence of political factors on the initiation, formulation, and implementation of public policy. The goal of the course is to give students the background necessary to devise strategies to develop public policy.
  • Comparative Public Policy onsiders comparatively some of the experiences, accomplishments, and problems common to advanced industrial societies.
  • Public Management prepares students for managing public programs and organizations by exploring topics that include leadership, motivation, decision-making, ethics, and administrative structure.
  • Microeconomics and Administration provides an introduction to microeconomic theory and analysis. The course examines economic rationales for and against government policy and the economic consequences of public policy.
  • Research Methods for Public Policy and Administration provides an introduction to qualitative and quantitative methodologies for analyzing and evaluating public policy. Topics include research methods, participant observation, survey research and questionnaire construction, measurement theory and practice, and framing categories.
  • Introduction to Statistical Methods for Public Policy and Administration covers the use and interpretation of statistics in policy research. The course investigates such topics as probability theory, statistical methods, descriptive statistics, analysis of tabular data, correlation and regression, and multiple regression analysis. Students interested in acquiring additional methodological skills are encouraged to take advanced courses in qualitative and/or quantitative methods.
  • Public Policy Analysis applies economic, political, social, organizational, and other skills from previous core courses to actual and hypothetical policy issues. Students complete a client-based project as part of this course.
  • Professional Development sharpens students’ job-seeking and networking skills. In addition to sessions on writing resumes and cover letters; interviewing; and internships, students get opportunities to meet CPPA alumni who are working in a variety of government departments and nonprofit organizations.
  • The Capstone Seminar synthesize the major experiences, concepts, principles, and skills covered in the program. Working with a faculty advisor, they design their own Capstone projects in their area of interest. In some cases, this work will focus on policy research. More often, students choose to work with real world clients.

CPPA program electives provide students with a deeper understanding of areas that affect professionals in the public and nonprofit sectors. In order to fulfill requirements for the Master's Degree in Public Policy and Administration, students are required to take three program electives, one from each of the three sections: Policy, Management and Methods. CPPA currently offers the following program electives, at least every other year so students have an opportunity to take any of the courses below:

1. Policy
Ethics and Public Policy Students reflect upon key issues in professional and administrative ethics, apply ethical principles to policy analysis; and articulate ethical arguments in writing and in discussion.

Comparative Public Policy examines comparatively some of the experiences, accomplishments, and problems common to advanced industrial societies. Current public policy issues in the United States will be used for comparison and contrast.

Globalization examines the broader issues of economic development and the debates over different aspects of globalization including multilateral institutions setting policy, the operative goals and agreements and the players-- nations, NGOs, labor unions and corporations.

Social Movements and Public Policy examines the dynamics of social movements and explores the methods or tools that scholars have used to understand those dynamics.

2. Management
Nonprofit Management gives students the opportunity to both learn and develop nonprofit management skills and complete a hands-on project with an area nonprofit organization. Topics covered in this class include board governance, executive leadership, strategic planning and volunteer management.

Nonprofit Program Management provides students with the opportunity to both learn and develop nonprofit management skills and complete a hands-on project with an area nonprofit organization. Topics covered in this class include product/program portfolio development, resource development and program evaluation.

Information Technology in the Public and Nonprofit Sectors provides an introduction to IT for students headed for work in public or nonprofit organizations. Through computer labs, practice exercises and homework students leave the class with confidence in the development of basic web sites and relational databases.

Organizational Theory and Design provides students with a solid foundation in organizational and institutional theories, particularly as they inform public organizations and public administration.

3. Methods
Applied Public Sector Economics provides students with the necessary skills to formulate public policies with an understanding of their economic implications.

Advanced Qualitative Methods for Public Policy and Administration provides greater methodological depth in exploring various qualitative methods, including surveys, interviewing, focus groups, participant observation, and others.

Advanced Quantitative Methods provides advanced training in one or more quantitative methods, including advanced regression analysis, qualitative choice models, decision analysis, queuing models, and others.

Introduction to Geographic Information Systems introduces students to the construction, manipulation, display and analysis of spatial information using GIS.

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